Curbing Uncivil Behaviour : Collective Action Required

Many people nowadays, have either consciously or unconsciously interpreted the various freedoms enshrined in the 1990 laws in Cameroon as permission to indulge in any activity regardless of its moral, social, economic and development consequences to the nation.
The logical consequence of the misleading interpretation of the laws and government’s appeasement and administrative tolerance policy is the continuous deepening of the culture of uncivil behaviour that is eating deeper and deeper into almost all fabrics of the society. The road transport, educational, communication, urban development, hygiene and sanitation and security sectors are characterised by soaring cases of uncivil behaviour where almost everybody is king and does whatever pleases them without any regard to collective interest and order in the society. The perpetual traffic jam in major towns of the country and numerous accidents are largely due to the uncivil actions of the various actors of the road sector who indulge in violating the laws in force with impunity.  The country’s towns are littered with dirt, anarchical construction and occupation of public space. The educational milieu is filled with a myriad of ills such as examination fraud, corruption, taking of drugs and all sorts of immoralities.
All these uncivil acts are at variance with the “Exemplary Cameroon” the Head of State, President Paul Biya has been preaching and aspiring for as the country drives towards the attainment of the emergence vision by 2035. The way of life has to change with a complete U- turn in the direction the society is drifting to if the present generation wants to bequeath a better Cameroon to posterity. The culture of civic behaviour has to once more become the norm to be passed down to future generations in Cameroon. Development starts from the mind through moulding individuals who will logically undertake palpable actions capable of shaping the society with clearly spelt out objectives.
Fighting uncivil behaviour has to be a national cause that requires integrated and collective actions by the stakeholders of all the strata of society. Actors of diverse socio-professional sectors have been struggling at their levels to instil sanity in the conduct of activities. The case of actors of the commercial motorbike sector is palpable but the actions carried out in isolation cannot yield the desired fruits. All sectors are cross-cutting and tackling uncivil behaviour calls for integrated approaches with roles clearly indicated and each actor playing its role in a flawless manner.
Government on its part has engaged in actions to tackle the ill of uncivil behaviour. There is the introduction of Citizenship as a subject taught in the Basic and Secondary Education Sectors. The courses offered are intended to inculcate moral values in the pupils and students, train them on the symbols and laws of the State and the need to respect the laws of the land. At the macro level, President Paul Biya created the National Civic Service Agency for Participation in Development. Placed under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, the structure aims at ensuring that young people in general participate in the maintenance of civil and moral values, peace, living together, social cohesion, development and contribute in fighting all the excesses that have characterised the society.
The government has been carrying our awareness creation campaigns among the youths in order to curb the uncivil behaviour. The campaigns do not have to be intermittent but permanent with a specific calendar for more palpable results to be achieved. Besides the awareness creation, government has instituted programmes and projects to facilitate the socio-professional integration of youths. They are designed to convince the youth to avoid deviant attitudes and immoral actions and directing them to positively contribute to nation-building.
Considering that uncivil behaviour is a scorch in society, it is time the civil soci...

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